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Circuit Court Clerk’s Office now offers passport services

Johnson County Circuit Court Clerk Melissa Hollaway, (sitting) is joined by her office staff including Louise Lawrence, Julia Winebarger, Sherry Hawkins, and Angel Snyder, for a group photo last week. (not pictured Cheyenne Matheson)
The office is looking forward to implementing a number of recent changes. Photo by Megan Hollaway

By Megan Hollaway

While Johnson County is a beautiful destination itself, residents of the county occasionally enjoy cruises or even like to travel overseas. Previously, those who wanted to go abroad had to first travel to Johnson City to get the passport to travel to their destinations. Now, residents of Johnson County need only to look to their courthouse to find Passport services. Melissa Hollaway and her team of deputy court clerks have worked tirelessly over the last year to become certified as passport acceptance agents. Hollaway says, “All members of the office are certified through yearly testing and training to ensure they provide the best services to Johnson County.”
In this last year, the Circuit court clerk’s office has brought in over 3000 dollars for the county in passport fees. The office is also in the process of getting passport photo equipment to make getting a passport even easier for Johnson County residents. Hollaway says, “We
would be the only county in the district to provide this service. After the equipment is set up around May, there will be a passport fair with extended hours, including a Saturday, to allow for residents needing a passport who cannot attend regular business hours. For more information about getting a passport, call 423-727-9012 extension 3, or stop by
the office Monday
through Friday 8:30-5, closed 12 through 1 for lunch.”
In addition, the Circuit court clerk’s office offers background checks for a competitive rate, and the proceeds of these operations directly benefit Johnson County. For landlords in the county, the office provides free background checks for any tenants at any time.
Since beginning the
collection of back fines
and court costs, the
Circuit court clerk’s office has collected 35,000 dollars. This money goes directly toward the county general fund, which can be used to benefit the county and its residents.
With the success of these collections, Hollaway said, “I would like to make the part-time collections agent Julia Winebarger full time, to expand on the ongoing collections effort and devote that time to serving the county.”
Hollaway added, “The courts of Johnson County could not run without the dedication of my deputy court clerks and their passion for serving the community. I am
proud of them, and of the community for their continued support of this office.”